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To Kill A Rat...?

I was going to write about the Dark Knight, which I saw at 12:30 last night (or, this morning, if you prefer). We waited online starting at 9 (pm) and didn't get home until after 4 (am) and it was SO WORTH IT. It was so amazing as in "OMFG, why haven't YOU seen it yet so we can talk about specific parts!?"

I was going to write about that, but then I realized this morning that we have a rat in our apartment.


Since I only slept for about 90 minutes before getting up to go to work (James didn't sleep at all) I was zoning out on the couch eating a cold (un)toaster pastry and watching a Malcolm in the Middle rerun on FX with no lights on. I noticed a shadow move out of the corner of my eye. I turned my head to see...something...make a mad dash under the sofa. I was so startled. But what could I do, I sure as hell wasn't going to go looking for it. I went to the bathroom to brush my teeth, texting James that "I think we have a rodent" when I saw it, scurrying slower, out of the living room into the studio from whence it had come. I screamed slightly, in a way that is not normal for me, but totally primal. It was clearly a rat. It didn't seem big enough to be a Norwegian, which is apparently the most common in urban settings. I understand that the black ("roof") rat is smaller and sleeker. But this could have been an adolescent. Either way, fast moving critters are extremely startling.

I called James and he said that even though he hates the idea, we're obligated to tell the landlord in case there are more than one. The problem, however, is that landlords use glue traps and that is a fact of life. And glue traps are one of the cruelest, most sadist inventions since the iron maiden. I'm not about to wake up to the poor thing's desperate screams and walk out to see it gnawing it's own leg off or to watch it die. The actual instructions on those packages say to toss it in the trash while it's still alive! No thanks. I almost cried thinking about it.

People will tell you how dangerous rats are and how much disease they carry. Well, it seems to me that humans carry more disease than rats and are more likely to attack me without provocation than a rat. (Plus cleaning up poopies is no problem because we have a Dyson!!) Rats are docile by nature. And nocturnal. So the fact that s/he even emerged in the morning means that s/he was scared and hungry. There is a good chance that s/he already exited the way s/he came. But if that isn't the case, s/he is more likely to fall for a baited humane trap, which I can then take to a park and release. If s/he goes to someone else's house and gets killed, I can't do anything about that. But before I bring spring-loaded murder and dangerous poison into the equation, I need to know I've done all I can. I talked to James about this and he agrees with me. If our tactics fail, then I guess we'll have to make the call.

So after work today I'm heading to Home Depot to get a Haveahart trap and some of that repellent that smells like fox wee-wee ("we can't stay here, this is bat fox country!" which will aide to chase our friend out and keep out others.

It may seem like an overreaction to some, but it really conflicts with my ethics to kill something that I would consider keeping as a pet had it been raised in better conditions. I don't eat meat because I don't believe in needless death. So, I'll do what I can and let loose the rat, left to its own devices.

And...see the Dark Knight. More on that maybe later or tomorrow.
Read more: http://www.blogdoctor.me/2007/02/expandable-post-summaries.html#ixzz1Ygp5vxLJ


  1. Aww, no! Always with the rodent problems. Whatever happened to the Have-A-Heart trap we had at school? It was far too large for our little furry friend; it probably would've been perfect for your medium-sized furry friend.

    p.s. I love that you know so much about different kinds of rats. Did you do research for this blog? 'Cause that's adorable.

  2. Naw, I knew a big about rat types (the extra features on the Rattatouille DVD helped a bit too).

    Idk what happened to it? I thought Carly had it (I assume this is Althea...)